Early Briefing 10.30.07: New Postal Regs

Here's some of the local business stories in Tuesday's paper:

* Did you stock up on those forever stamps? In his Federal Diary column, Stephen Barr says the Postal Regulatory Commission gave the U.S. Postal Service more leeway in setting prices. The post office can now adjust rates annually for first-class letters, magazines, advertising and certain other types of mail. But the rate increases cannot exceed the increase in the consumer price index for the previous 12 months. Other types of mail such as priority mail and express mail will be treated as "competitive" products and not be subject to the price cap. The service will be allowed to offer discounts based on volume and to negotiate special terms for this category.

* District businesses are bracing for a 24-hour taxi strike threatened for Halloween as some drivers say they will protest Mayor Fenty's recent decision to switch from zones to meters. See story.

* The Montgomery County Council is poised today to take a series of test votes on proposed changes to the county's growth policy to place greater emphasis on "sustainability." See story.

* The Heath section takes a look at the practice of selling drugs out of doctor's offices and places such as Nighttime Pediatrics and Adult Care Too! Such "point of sale" dispensing is outlawed in many states but not in Maryland, Virginia and the District. Most doctors are selling pain drugs, allergy remedies and other commonly prescribed medications but some see opportunities in dispensing anti-cancer pills. See story.

By Dan Beyers  |  October 30, 2007; 6:38 AM ET
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